Wednesday 18th

THE PROJECT BEGINS

It has been a while since I blogged but so much has happened from The Small Society Lab, the NCR design competition 2011 and community workshops…

BUT now I am over in NID in Ahmedabad, India…so this is what this blog post is going to be about.

NCR have sponsored the MSc Product Design (MSc PD) team to gather insights into access to and use of mobile technology and the internet in India.

The use of mobile technologies and communications in India over the past 5/10 years has been prolific.  India has the world’s second largest number of mobile phone users with over 881 million as of October 2011.  Although the percentage of population that have access to the internet in any form is low there are still 40 million users who use their mobiles to access the internet.

In countries such as the UK use of the internet has started with fixed line access due to the nature of legacy copper cable infrastructure. Where in many Western countries the advent of mobile technologies was seen as an evolutionary step forward, in developing nations it could be seen as a mobile revolution, bypassing infrastructure investments other countries have made.

India does not have the same legacy issues as the UK; they can effectively leap-frog the UK and move to a much more mobile and inherently accessible mode of internet access. With countries such as India, China and those in Africa spearheading the mobile revolution companies, like NCR, are looking to them to understand how business and consumers are adopting mobile technologies and the opportunities this may create.

The team have had a day of just getting used to the environment and the have had some initial introductions with stage 4 NID product design students. It was a day of tuktuk rides, mad traffic, street life and indian culture!

The MSc PD team

 

Thursday 19th 

GETTING DATA AND INSIGHTS

Mobile insights questionnaire

One of the main aims of the trip is to gather not only insights but some tangle data on mobile habits and the internet. We want to understand who uses these service and how. One way of collecting this data is through a questionnaire. The key thing with the creation of the questionnaire is to do it collaboratively with the NID students. Doing it this way meant we were able to ask the right questions and target specific areas that we would otherwise have missed.

As ever the NID students have been great. We sent an hour in a focus group co-designing the  questionnaire. From there we were able to draft up an initial layout and test it in NID. That done we were confident we could get out on the street, speak to people, get data and insights!

The first 10 interviewees

 

Friday 20th

SERVICE JOURNEYS

The students have spent the day interviewing people about their mobile phone use and how they use the internet. It is interesting to see the cultural differences coming to light. We hope to build up some nice infographics from the data to clearly illustrate the breadth of people we connected with, consumer trends and insights.

Service Journeys

In parallel to this the team have been doing some service mapping. We have targeted areas relevant to NCR lines of business, from Banking, Retail and Travel. These help us understand the stages of a particular journey. Mapping this out not only shows us the current touch points in a particular transaction/service but also opportunities for design thinking, self-service, new interactions.

Document mapping

As a group we also need to consider the final document, we have spent time this evening developing the layout. The format is going to be in a news paper style so we have been doing some research into news papers in India to give the document some cultural founding and context. One thing is for sure is that we will not be struggling for content! The good thing with planning the layout now is that it will give me and the students focus to the insights we gather, photos we take and life we document.

Document Layout

 

Saturday 21st

STREET LIFE

Street life in Ahmedabad is LOUD, BUSY, INTENSE and DUSTY…It take some getting used to and can be quite overwhelming. I have send the day neck deep in it all. I wanted to experience first hand what it was all like as for too long on this trip I have been stuck in NID. I have been trying to document street services, self-service objects, graphics, signage and interactions.

Its can be hard to create order out of the chaos. Putting design filters on all the content out there on the street helps (well helps me anyway..)

Anab Jain

November 18, 2010

Anab Jain at Product Design Research Dundee

The Product Design Research team met with Anab Jain yesterday. It was a good to get the opportunity to sit down with her individually and talk through our own research area and get her valued input.

Founder of Superflux and the instigator of The Power of 8 Anab has experience in interaction and service design, research, filmmaking and speculative design. Her experience in film making on various projects was particularly useful for me – thanks Anab!

IxTEC

November 14, 2010

Interactions | Transactions | Environment | Consumer

I have recently embarked on a new collaborative consumer focused study with Paul Gault (a fellow PhD student sponsored by NCR) called IxTEC. The project has several has several core aims: To develop methods for design research, to develop a richer understanding of consumers and their desired experience when interacting with self-service technology and for the research to ultimately feed into the Cx Design Strategy at NCR.

MSc Ethnography Post-it Session: Interactions

The first part of the ongoing study has involved engaging with the MSc Ethnography course at Dundee University. Through a series of activities from virtual postcard questionnaires, video probes, street work and several ethnographic post-it sessions a rich collection of information has been gathered. The process of this activity is as important to our research as the actual outcomes and it has been excellent having the ethnography course involved.

A full breakdown of the project so far can be found here.

The next stages of this study will be to collate, understand and articulate all the information that has been collected. Once that stage is complete the information will generate content for a series of consumer focused workshops and further development of design research and consumer engagement methods.

Connection Boxes: Mk II

November 14, 2010

Connection Boxes MkII

The connection boxes have had an upgrade! Now fitted with a super strong wireless chip which means they do not all need to be connected to each other. This is much more in line with the original concept and should make them much more reliable.

They have been installed in Dance Base as of last week. They are essentially a blank canvas for the Dance Base team. I will be interested to conduct further studies with them to understand what feedback they have uploaded onto them and how successful they have been in attracting customers to use them.

As part of the feedback I will be trying to understand what makes a consumer use a self-service device? What type or level of reward/feedback is appropriate? Also, what makes a consumer use the device again and again, how can you instil loyalty in a device?

The video includes sounds that were created by the Dance Base team. They were deliberately fun and even slightly cheeky to reflect the Dance Base ethos, environment and marketing strategy.

IxDA Dundee

November 12, 2010

IxDA Pencil DJ

IxDA Dundee

Last night I attended the 1st IxDA event. The event was about bringing together a bunch of like-minded individuals to chat about and drink over all things interaction…

The event was pulled together over a 2 week period by many individuals working together so all credit to them for getting it organised so quickly.

The Dundee chapter of IxDA is in its infancy but will hopefully be something that will build and grow as the word gets out there. It would be great to see more individuals from the design/interaction industry involved in future events.

Everyone who attended the event was invited to have a go on the Pencil DJ – it really was so cool! Using Arduino the “DJ” created a path of resistance in graphite that would control a series of sounds. It was really interesting how the different graphite shapes would create different sounds and when put together with the other “DJs” it sounded surprisingly good!

DJ-ing with a Pencil!

Fast Company article

November 12, 2010

Fast Company have recently done an article on a range of concepts that came out of the Cx team. It is always good to get some positive press so as a team we are pleased to see our work getting good visibility.

Fast Company

Fast Company article

Pillar ATM ISDA Finalist

November 12, 2010

ISDA Finalist

Yearbook of Design Excellence

The Pillar ATM reached the finals of the 2010 ISDA design awards.

NCR Design Competition 2010

NCR Design Competition 2010

I am please to announce that NCR will be sponsoring the Student Design competition for the 6th year. Unfortunately Glasgow University could not participate this year due to other commitments but we still have Robert Gordons University, Dundee University and Edinburgh College of Art.

I am also pleased that we not only have the continued support of Scottish Enterprise this year we have added Creative Scotland and the V & A at Dundee. Members from each will be part of the judging panel.

The Brief:

NCR use the brand slogan: ‘Experience a new world of interaction’ – Taking this as the theme, explore what this could mean to you and your generation in the next 2 years. What is the new world of self-service interaction? Research and understand what people want their experience to be in relation to a particular area of self-service. Demonstrate how the consumers experience is facilitated through a concept design. The initial solutions should be able to be brought to market in a 2 year time frame. All final solutions should be sensitive to the NCR brand.

The Kick-off Event:

This year it was hosted by Sue Fairburn of Robert Gordons University in Aberdeen.

There were various speakers, from NCR, Charlie Rohan (Director of Cx | Design) presenting project background, self-service within NCR and the NCR design process. Chistopher McNicholl (last years winner) came to present his winning project and importantly gave the students an insight into his internship within the NCR Cx design team.

During the kick-off event we like to have a small design activity that get the students working with each other and is a bit of fun. This year the students got to play with Lego while thinking about design solutions that matched objects/things on a series of playing cards. It was a great activity to get the creative mind working and really helped to break down any barriers and I am sure all involved enjoyed the activity.

The student group

Competition kick-off event

Competition kick-off event

Design workshop activity

I recently presented at the ISA world congress of sociology conference in Gothenburg.

It was an interesting experience as it was my first presenting as a PhD student. I think I got away lightly as the audience were not designers, not interested in design and had no idea what I was talking about! I presented the Dance Base activity and touched on elements of the Pillar ATM design process.

ISA Presentation

ISA Presentation

The fortunate thing was that others on the same panel as I were of the same mindset and at least we were all interested in each others projects/activities. One I particularly liked was presented by Chris Speed of Edinburgh College of Art. He presented a wonderful story of digital tagging, memories and old belongings. You can find out more here.

Video Probes

November 12, 2010

Since my first post on Video Probes I have been developing the use of the design research method through a series of studies. The video probe is a specific time framed video response to a question. The first study was conducted with Dance Base (as previously posted). The participants were asked – “what are your perceptions of dance base?” The responses were then used to help inspire and inform the design of the connected Collection Boxes as well as gain a greater understanding of the people and place.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

The second study was conducted with MSc Ethnography students at Dundee University as part of a deeper study into self-service (more about that later). The student groups approached the probes in very different and interesting ways. Some using it more as a field work tool, others to strengthen their initial insights, others were able to communicate their insights through the probes in a very clear thought provoking way.

The groups were split to focus their field observations on different influencing factors of self-service – Interactions, Transactions, Environment, Consumers.

Their Video Probes can be viewed below

Interactions: 

Transactions: 

Environment: 

Consumers: 

We will now be using the insights from the Video Probes and other activities to inform a project that aims to gain a greater understanding of consumers in relation to self-serivce.